Surrogacy Dictionary

Get to know some of the commons word, phrases, and terms you’ll hear throughout your surrogacy journey.

A to Z

Anonymous Egg Donor

[uh-non-uh-muh s] [eg] [doh-ner]

A woman who undergoes a protocol to donate her eggs (gametes, ova, ovum) to another person or couple (see: Recipient) in order for the eggs to be used to create embryos that will belong to the recipient. The donor remains anonymous to the recipient(s) and she is identified by a donor number.

Letter A

All

Anonymous Sperm Donor

[uh-non-uh-muh s] [spurm] [doh-ner]

A man who donates his semen (sperm) to another person or couple (see: Recipient) in order for the sperm to be used to create embryos that will belong to the recipient(s). The sperm donor remains anonymous to the recipient(s) and he is identified by a donor number.

Letter A

All

Artificial Insemination

[ahr-tuh-fish-uhl] [in-sem-uh-ney-shuhn]

During artificial insemination, semen is inserted into the uterus of the intended mother in order to fertilize an egg.

Letter A

All

Assisted Reproduction

[uh-sist-ed] [ree-pruh-duhk-shuhn]

The use of medical techniques, such as drug therapy, artificial insemination, or in vitro fertilization, to enhance fertility.

Letter A

All

Assisted Reproduction Technology Law

[uh-sist-ed] [ree-pruh-duhk-shuh n] [tek-nol-uh-jee] [law]

Laws involving assisted reproductive technology treatment, and the legal issues surrounding such treatment such as contractual matters between egg donors or sperm donors and recipients; surrogacy contracts and legal parentage issues.

Letter A

All

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

[uh-sist-ed] [ree-pruh-duhk-tiv] [tek-nol-uh-jee]

Any procedure that involves manipulation of eggs or sperm to establish pregnancy in treatment of infertility, such as in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer, egg and sperm donation, or gestational surrogacy.

Letter A

All

Birth Mother

[burth] [muhth-er]

The woman who carries a pregnancy and gives birth to the child; in Gestational Surrogacy, the birth mother is not necessarily the legal mother.

Letter B

All

Blastocyst

[blas-tuh-sist]

A blastocyst is an embryo that consists of 200 to 300 cells and is ready for implantation, typically after 4 to 6 days.

Letter B

All

Carrier

[kar-ee-er]

(See: Gestational Carrier). Also referred to as Gestational Surrogate and Surrogate.

Letter C

All

Domestic Surrogacy

[duh-mes-tik] [sur-uh-guh-see]

A surrogacy agreement between a Gestational Carrier and Intended Parent(s) living in the same country.

Letter D

All

Egg Donation

[eg] [doh-ney-shuhn]

In an egg donation, eggs are removed from the donor and fertilized either by sperm from a donor or the intended father to create embryos. The fertilized embryos are then stored or transferred into the uterus of the intended mother or surrogate.

Letter E

All

Egg Donor

[eg] [doh-ner]

A woman who agrees to undergo a protocol of medication to produce multiple eggs, and who then donates those eggs (gametes, ova) to recipient Intended Parents; the donor is not to have legal rights to the eggs or the resulting embryos or child if a child is born.

Letter E

All

Egg Donor Contract

[eg] [doh-ner] [kon-trakt]

The written agreement or document between the Egg Donor and the recipient Intended Parent(s).

Letter E

All

Embryo Transfer

[em-bree-oh] [trans-fur]

The medical process in which a fertilized embryo (See: Blastocyst) is inserted into the uterus of either the Intended Mother or the Gestational Carrier.

Letter E

All

Escrow Account

[es-kroh] [uh-kount]

A fund specifically administered to fund the surrogacy journey. Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists conducts all of our escrow services in-house, eliminating the need for a third-party escrow agent.

Letter E

All

Genetic Father

[juh-net-ik] [fah-th er]

The Intended Father who is genetically related to the child to be born (aka the Intended Father) who uses his own sperm to create the embryos that will be transferred to a surrogate in the hope of achieving a pregnancy and birth.

Letter G

All

Genetic Mother

[juh-net-ik] [muhth-er]

The Intended Mother who is genetically related to the child to be born (aka the Intended Mother) who uses her own egg to create the embryos that will be transferred to a surrogate in the hope of achieving a pregnancy and birth.

Letter G

All

Genetic Parent(s)

[juh-net-ik] [pair-uhnt]

The Intended Parent(s) genetically related to the child to be born.

Letter G

All

Gestational Carrier

[je-stey-shuhnul] [kar-ee-er]

(See: Gestational Surrogate) A woman who carries a baby for the Intended Parent(s), another couple or individual who shall become the legal parent(s) of the child to be born (See: Intended Parents). A Gestational Carrier is NOT genetically related to the baby she is carrying. The pregnancy was achieved by the egg of the Intended Mother or an egg from an egg donor.

Letter G

All

Gestational Carrier Contract (Agreement)

[je-stey-shuhnul] [kar-ee-er] [kon-trakt]

The written agreement or contract between the Gestational Carrier and the Intended Parents. This Agreement should be drafted by a lawyer familiar with assisted reproduction law, and it should be reviewed by competent legal counsel on behalf of the Gestational Carrier.

Letter G

All

Gestational Surrogate

[je-stey-shuhnul] [sur-uh-geyt]

(See: Gestational Carrier)

Letter G

All

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

[in vee-troh] [fur-tl-uh-zey-shuhn]

In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is the process of creating an embryo from an egg and sperm combined outside the body. Once fertilized, the embryo is then transferred into the uterus of either the intended mother or the surrogate.

Letter I

All

Intended Father

[in-ten-did] [fah-ther]

The man, in surrogacy arrangements, who is intended to become the legal father of the baby to be born to the surrogate.

Letter I

All

Intended Mother

[in-ten-did] [muhth-er]

The woman, in surrogacy arrangements, who is not carrying the baby but who is intended to become the legal mother of the baby to be born to the surrogate.

Letter I

All

Intended Parent(s)

[in-ten-did] [pair-uhnt]

There are single and coupled Intended Parents, both married and unmarried, straight or gay. The Intended Parent or Intended Parents are the individuals or couples who are intending to take custody of the child being born to their Gestational Carrier. They are intending to become the legal parents. In some cases, they are genetically related to the child and in some cases, they may not be genetically related. But whether or not there is a genetic connection to the child carried by the Gestational Carrier, the Intended Parent or Intended Parents are to become the legal and custodial parents.

Letter I

All

International Surrogacy

[in-ter-nash-uh-nl] [sur-uh-guh-see]

A surrogacy agreement between a domestic Gestational Carrier and international Intended Parent(s).

Letter I

All

Known Egg Donor

[nohn] [eg] [doh-ner]

A woman who is known to the recipient Intended Parent(s) and who goes through a medical protocol for egg retrieval and donates the retrieved eggs to recipient Intended Parent(s) who then use the eggs to create embryos.

Letter K

All

Known Sperm Donor

[nohn] [spurm] [doh-ner]

A man who is known to the recipient Intended Parent(s) and who donates his sperm to recipient Intended Parent(s) who then use the sperm to create embryos.

Letter K

All

Matching Agency

[mach-ing] [ey-juhn-see]

A firm or agency (or surrogacy program) that is retained for the purpose of finding a suitable Gestational Carrier, and for supervising and monitoring the surrogacy arrangement. Services, competency, and skills vary widely from agency to agency.

Letter M

All

Post-Birth Order (PBO)

[pohst-burth] [awr-der]

Similar to a pre-birth order, except that this court order is obtained after the birth.

Letter P

All

Pre-Birth Order (PBO)

[pree-burth] [awr-der]

A court order obtained prior to the birth of a child being carried by a Gestational Carrier that provides for the establishment of the Intended Parents’ legal parentage, and to place the names of the Intended Parent(s) on the child’s birth certificate.

Letter P

All

Recipient

[ri-sip-ee-uhnt]

The individual or couple who receives donated gametes: eggs and/or sperm.

Letter R

All

Second Parent Adoption (also referred to as Co-Parent Adoption or Stepparent Adoption)

[sek-uhnd] [pair-uhnt] [uh-dop-shuhn]

This is a legal proceeding by which the non-genetic Intended Parent of a child born to a Gestational Carrier may have to establish legal parentage, depending on the law of the State where the birth took place, and the law of the State where the Intended Parents reside.

Letter S

All

Selective Reduction

[si-lek-tiv] [ri-duhk-shuhn]

A medical procedure in which one or more fetuses in a multiples pregnancy are terminated, typically occurring between 10-12 weeks of pregnancy via a minimally invasive procedure. The procedure may be recommended to increase the chances of one or two of the fetuses surviving the pregnancy. Pregnancies with multiples increases risk of premature birth and health concerns for both the children and the carrier.

Letter S

All

Sperm Donation

[spurm] [doh-ney-shuhn]

Sperm donation involves obtaining semen from a donor that is then used to fertilize eggs from an egg donor or the egg of the intended mother.

Letter S

All

Sperm Donor

[spurm] [doh-ner]

A man who donates his sperm to another individual or couple so that the individual may use the sperm to create an embryo or to achieve a pregnancy. The donor is not to have legal rights to the embryos or the child born as a result of the utilized sperm.

Letter S

All

Step-Parent Adoption

[step-pair-uhnt] [uh-dop-shuhn]

(See: Second Parent Adoption)

Letter S

All

Surrogacy

[sur-uh-guh-see]

There are two types of surrogacy: “gestational” and “traditional.” Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists works exclusively with gestational surrogates.

In gestational surrogacy, in vitro fertilization is used to transfer another woman’s fertilized egg, or embryo, into the surrogate’s uterus. In gestational surrogacy, unlike in traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is not the genetic mother. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s egg is fertilized by artificial insemination.

Letter S

All

Surrogacy Agency

[sur-uh-guh-see] [ey-juhn-see]

(See: Matching Agency)

Letter S

All

Surrogacy Contract (Agreement)

[sur-uh-guh-see] [kon-trakt]

(See: Gestational Carrier Contract)

Letter S

All

Surrogacy Matching Agency

[sur-uh-guh-see] [mach-ing] [ey-juhn-see]

A firm, company or agency that recruits Gestational Carriers and matches them with Intended Parent(s).

Letter S

All

Surrogate Mother

[sur-uh-geyt] [muhth-er]

(See: Gestational Carrier; Gestational Surrogate) A woman who carries a baby and gives birth to a baby for a couple who are the Intended Parents or an individual who is the Intended Parent. The term Surrogate Mother applies to the woman carrying the baby whether or not she is genetically related to the baby. In Traditional Surrogacy circumstances, the term Surrogate Mother is more commonly used. In Gestational Surrogacy, the terms Gestational Carrier or Gestational Surrogate are more commonly used.

Letter S

All

Traditional Surrogacy

[truh-dish-uh-nl] [sur-uh-guh-see]

In a traditional surrogacy, the surrogate's own egg is fertilized via artificial insemination, and the surrogate is both the carrier and the biological mother. Consequently, there is a much greater legal risk involved for Intended Parents in traditional surrogacy cases.

Letter T

All

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